In deciding to watch this documentary it doesn’t matters greatly if you support capital punishment or oppose it. This is a fairly balanced analysis of the death penalty in America with arguments and testimonies more representative of the two sides overall than, generally, you find in debates of this issue. Yes, there is an editorial viewpoint, but it’s not placed in your face with the subtleness of a Mack Sennett pie.

Deadline DocumentaryThe sweeping grant of clemency in 2003 by former Illinois Governor George Ryan to that states death row inmates is used by the filmmakers as their narrative framing device, but Ryan is not the film’s hero and there is little time or footage spent on the deliberations leading to his ruling.

In truth, Deadline does not seek to depict a historical episode, first laying out its details then expounding on their roots. Instead it provides the viewer a touchstone upon which to test the values of their own beliefs. Do not dismiss such an opportunity out of hand; a film that challenges its audience is a rare thing. Of course individuals with the courage of his or her convictions willing to take up such a challenge are rarer still.

Directors: Katy Chevigny, Kirsten Johnson
Producers: Dallas Brennan, Katy Chevigny
Distributors: Big Mouth Productions
Available for streaming on Amazon Instant Video and other On Line vendors.

Not Rated


Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

No comments


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.